ABOUT SRINAGAR: Srinagar, the summer capital is situated in the centre of Kashmir valley and is surrounded by five districts. In the north it is flanked by Kargil, in the South by Pulwama, in the north-west by Budgam. This extremely beautiful place tells the story of the love of the Mughal emperors. It possess deep green rice fields and river bridges, gardens in bloom, lakes rimmed by houseboats, a business center and holiday resort.
Srinagar has the distinction of having multifaceted and unique cultural blend, making it exclusive from the rest of the country, not only from the different cultural forms and heritage, but from geographical, demographically, ethical, social entities, which forms a distinct spectrum of diversity.
Location: Kashmir Region, J&K
Main Attractions: Canals, Houseboats & Mughal Gardens
How to spend time/Attractions: Golf, Fishing, Shikara ride, Handicrafts Shopping, Photography, Sightseeing, etc.
Best Time to Visit: June to Early November, December to February.
PLACES TO VISIT:
DAL LAKE:- The Dal Lake which has the length of 8 Km long and a width of 4 Km, spreads over a total of 26 Sq. Km. The fascinating Dal Lake is divided into two smaller ones the Lokut (small) and Bod (big) Dal. The south western part of the lake has a maximum depth of approximately 12 M. the Dal Lake gets some of its water from spring but is also supplemented by water from the mountain lake, Mar Sar. In the western part of the Lake one can glimpse a few islands, some bigger, some smaller. Its shores are very fertile and surrounded by willows.
MUGHAL GARDENS: – Mughal Gardens, as the name suggests, built in the Mughal period is a marvel located in Srinagar. These gardens are the major attractions of the tourists to Jammu and Kashmir. These gardens are the nice example of the Mughal style of constructing attractive places.
The name Mughal Gardens is given for the combination of three renowned gardens namely the Nishat Bagh, Shalimar Gardens and Chashmashahi. These gardens are tourists’ paradise and are beautifully decorated with bright flowerbeds, terraced lawns and well maintained cascading fountains. No tourist can miss these three nice marvelous gardens.
WULAR LAKE: – Wular Lake is about 16 km long and 10 km wide, spreading over an area of about 125 sq. km. Wular acts as a natural flood reservoir, drawing off excess water from the Jhelum River, which leaves the lake at Sopore. The lake changes character with every few miles of its course.
Being devoid of any artificial feature, Wular Lake is home to an enchanting variety of avian life. The extensive marshes surrounding the lake support dense coniferous forests, alpine pastures and orchards, adding to the natural splendor and biodiversity of the wetland area. The lake serves as a wintering site for several migratory waterfowl species like Little Egzet, Cattle Egzet, Shoveler, Common Pochard, and Mallard, to name a few.
HAZRATBAL SHRINE: – The Hazratbal shrine lies at a distance of 25 kilometers from the Badgam district in Srinagar, Kashmir. This pilgrimage destination is known by a number of names viz. the Assar-e-Sharif, Madinat-us-Sani and the Dargah Sharif. Mughal emperor Shahjahan’s brother constructed the Ishrat Mahal at the site of the shrine sometime in the year 1623, later when the emperor himself visited the site he ordered the place to be converted into a prayer house. The shrine as such was built by the Muslim Auqaf trust. Before the Hazratbal shrine was constructed the sacred hair was placed in the shrine of Naqshband Sahib. The architecture of the shrine is a combination of Mughal and traditional Kashmiri.
SHANKARACHARYA TEMPLE: – The Shankracharya Mandir of Kashmir, India is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is thought to be the oldest shrine in the Kashmir valley. The temple, as it stands today, has undergone many repairs throughout its life. The first repair is supposed to have been done under the rule of Lalitaditya. The second repairs were undertaken by Zain-ul-Abideen after the temple got damaged in an earthquake. These repairs were carried out during the Governorship of Sheikh Mohi-ud-Din. Maharaja Gulab Singh, a Dogra ruler, is credited for the stone steps that form a part of the passage to the shrine. The electrification of the Shankracharya temple was done in 1925.
JAMA MASJID: – The Jama Masjid of Srinagar is situated at Nowhatta, in the middle of the old city. An important mosque in Srinagar, it was built by Sultan Sikandar in 1400 AD. Later, the son of Sultan Sikandar, Zain-ul-Abidin got the mosque extended. The attractions of the Jama Masjid of Srinagar, Kashmir include beautiful Indo-Saracenic architecture, a magnificent courtyard and 370 wooden pillars. Another feature of the mosque is the peace and tranquility inside it, standing out against the hustle of the old bazaars around it. Thousands of Muslims assemble at the mosque every Friday to offer their prayers. This Jama Masjid of Kashmir, India has seen a number of destructions till date. It got ruined thrice in fire and was reconstructed every time. The last restoration was carried out during the reign of Maharaja Pratap Singh
TULIP GARDEN:- Asia’s largest tulip garden, which could also become the world’s second largest, was today thrown open to the public in Srinagar, the summer capital of the conflict-ridden Indian administrated Kashmir. Situated on the banks of the world famous Dal Lake and only a few minutes drive from the city centre through the Boulevard Road, the tulip garden, also known as Siraj Baghhas around 300,000 flowers at bloom.
Even before the inauguration of the garden, the state authorities have received requests from three major Bollywood film producers for shooting in the garden this year. Director Tourism Farooq Ahmad Shah today inaugurated the garden. “We engaged consultants from the Netherlands and imported 50 exotic varieties of the tulips to be grown here.